By: Richard Gazowsky
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Have you ever had God do a last-minute change on you, especially when that change has a lot of mystery surrounding it? One of the most wonderful things about God is when He surprises you with an interruption, because it’s always for your benefit and never your detriment.
The first time I saw this miraculous side of God was when the Lord called me into the ministry. A real estate company in San Francisco had offered me a management position with a large private office, a new car and everything a young newly-wedded man could desire. But it happened around the same time God publicly called me into the ministry.
A well-known minister had singled me out from the platform and said that God was calling me to the ministry. I knew that meant I would have to drop everything else I was doing, especially my plans regarding a career in real estate. At first, this looked to me like a demotion and didn’t seem to make any financial sense whatsoever. Now, years later, I look back at that “last-minute” offer by God and I see it was the best decision I ever made in my life.
So it has been with every promotion in my life since then ~ which is now going on 30 years. At the last minute God has asked me numerous times to drop everything and change my plans to fit His perfect will. Each instance I would have to make a decision if I was going to live in His good will, His acceptable will, or His perfect will. I’m amazed at how big the gulf seems to be between those three decisions. For Paul wrote, “That you may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God” (Romans 12:2).
I believe the “good” will of God is what Christians have calculated ~ through their readings of Scripture, the influence of their culture, and church experiences ~ to be the will of God.
The “acceptable” will of God refers to Christians who desire to hear the voice of God and do His perfect will, but somewhere along the way they get discouraged and chose to just live in a mediocre area of “acceptableness”, without being completely obedient.
The “perfect” will of God is reserved for the top 1% of Christians who are willing to drop everything, even at the last minute, and do exactly what God says, no matter what the cost or ramifications. They are God’s chosen and selected few. And friends, if you’re amidst this group of people, you’ve discovered it’s a real dog race to please God. But you’ve also found out the rewards are unbelievably wonderful!
I’m writing this blog to all of you who desire to be in that top 1%. One of the things that each one of you will face is God changing your plans at the last minute, while He takes heavenly note of your response. Believe me, this always seems to happen in the most unexpected ways, because God’s ways are not like our ways. I’m laughing now, but yesterday was a real day of testing.
God changed our family’s plans radically. Something we had looked forward to doing for over 16 years was suddenly dramatically altered. But all five of us knew in our hearts that it was the will of God, though it was hard to accept, not easy to change everything, nor to walk around smiling all the time. One of my kids even said to me, “Daddy, I’m smiling because I sense that angels are looking at me, wondering what my response is going to be to God’s changes. I know His changes are right, but they are sometimes so shocking that it’s hard for me to control my flesh from feelings of disappointment.”
I looked understandingly at my child. I knew she was honestly expressing the feelings we all have when we run into the shocking difference between God’s ways and our ways. But every time God makes a last-minute change, it’s always done for our good. The only problem is, it takes us some time to see that good. These are probably the longest moments you will ever experience in your life, because it’s when you decide if you are going the route of God’s perfect will, or His acceptable will. And I’ve discovered that one wrong decision can send you thousands of miles in a different direction.
My advice to everyone is when that moment comes, choose to become a fool for Christ. You’ll always have an opportunity to reason it out later. Every time I face this great divide of decision, I willingly choose to become gullible, like a little child, and say “Yes” to Daddy Jesus, and “No” to all my reasoning and intellect. Oh, has it made my life wonderful! I believe yours will also be so much fun! My family is going to make the decision Daddy’s way, even though it goes against all reasoning and wisdom of man. Now, how cool is that?
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Richard Gazowsky pastors a church in San Francisco called The Voice of Pentecost, and is also president of Christian WYSIWYG Filmworks. He has directed the films, “Guardians” and “The Roman Trilogy.”